Joy

Let’s start the week with a little joy – watch this video of a woman enjoying the snow. I dare you not to smile at her pleasure.

Let’s list a few things that she could complain about, if she chose to:

  1. it’s cold
  2. she’s getting wet
  3. she has no gloves
  4. she might fall

These are all good reasons to stay in the car, right? I’ll bet it’s warm and dry inside and she could watch the snow falling just fine. What does she choose to do instead? She gets out of her comfort zone and she plays in the snow. I love her giggles and I love that her son (behind the video) is laughing along with her.

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May your day be full of joy, even when you’re cold and uncomfortable.

May you have someone to share your joy. ❤

 

More Singing!

That title probably has some of you running for the mute button. Not everyone feels the joy of raising your voice. But even those of us without vocal skill (yet, there’s always hope…) can join in since it’s about the trying, especially if your friends ❤ you a lot.

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Did you know that singing is good for you? It releases endorphins, which helps with stress. Imagine your next big meeting, everyone’s all stressy, and you start a British style singsong…. Ha! Even that little bit made you smile, huh? Singing  is good but singing in a group is even better, improving your confidence and sense of community.

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Let’s sing along with a few secular Christmas carols this week. I’ve got Hannukah songs teed up for next Friday and I’m taking suggestions. 😀

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus debuted in 1952 as a Saks Fifth Avenue promotion and, did you know (?), was banned by Catholic Church in Boston for a while. After the lyricist met with the Archbishop, they lifted the ban. Here’s the Jackson 5 cover.

Up On the Housetop is the 2nd oldest secular Christmas song  (Jingle Bells is the oldest). Here’s Pentatonix’s 360 version (make sure you view with a Chrome, Internet Explorer browser since Safari doesn’t do 360).

Written by Irving Berlin in 1942, White Christmas became the best selling record of all time (Bing Crosby version). Collabro is a British acapella group with lovely harmonies.

Mele Kalikimaka (May-lay Kah-lee-kee-mah-kah) means “Merry Christmas” in Hawaiian. It’s a really kitschy song, first recorded in 1950 by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters. This version by the Puppini Sisters is a great update. We grew up singing this one so it’s a personal fave. ❤

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All I Want for Christmas is a recent addition from Mariah Carey (I couldn’t resist this Carpool Karaoke version!).  This version, though, was sung on the The Voice Kids Portugal. It isn’t polished but don’t you love the way the judges got into it? THAT’s the power of joy, the power of song. It helps that the judges have GREAT voices but I howled along just fine from here. 🙂 Both versions, Carpool and The Voice show the fun of singing together…. I’m just saying, again. 😉

Let’s go make some joyful memories!

 

 

 

Press Play

Hey there, it’s Friday! How did you do this week? Did you get everything done? Did you enjoy it?

What’s the point in getting through the week if you don’t make the most of your experience? After all, it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey.

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When I saw The Piano Guys Can’t Stop the Feeling – Dance Like Nobody’s Watching, I couldn’t help myself. I grinned, big. Here were all of these folks, Walmarting, getting their tasks done. Were they thinking, “this is gonna be FUN!”? How about you, when you watch, do you really expect these folks to break into a dance just because a boombox is waiting for them to press play?   I love that the shoppers defied the norm and showed us some spirit, sweet, sassy, and joyful.

What about the Walmart team? I love that they hosted the making of this video, it shows some spirit behind the corporate logo.

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I love that The Piano Guys delivered their message this way – we can only imagine how much fun they had, too. They got their job done (promoting their new album) and did it with style. They brightened someone’s day.

May your weekend be fabulous, may you spread a little joy, may you rise above the mundane and have some fun along the way.

Caryn

Forever and Ever

Woohooooo, it’s Friday!

Do you need an antidote from all the drama this political season? How about a throwback song? Randy Travis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (finally!) and I think we should celebrate with his Forever and Ever, Amen. “I’m gonna love you forever and ever, forever and ever, amen.”

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May you have a glorious weekend with someone you love. 😉

It’s a New Day

Good Morning and Happy Monday! It’s a new week, a new month, a new quarter! The slate is wiped clean and the day is full of opportunity. I can’t help but share this earworm: Nina Simone’s Feeling Good. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me…and I’m feeling good. 😀

How important is your personal brand? Whether you think you have one or not, you do. It’s how others perceive you, it’s how your style separates you from others, how others relate to you. Think of it this way – How do others describe you in 5 words or less? Is this the brand you want? How do you enhance, evolve and protect your brand?

Since the idea of branding began in the business world, let’s look there for an example: How about Apple? I informally polled several people about the five words they’d use to describe the maker of the iMac, iPhone, iPad  – you get the idea – and this is what I heard. (You’ll note that not all of these are positive but perception is reality.)

  1. Closed (operating system/environment)
  2. White / Clean
  3. Controlling / Secretive
  4. Intuitive / Design
  5. Overdone / Hyped

How seriously does Apple take their image? Very. Y’all have seen their ads and are more than familiar with Apple products. Have you ever bought something in one of their stores? It’s a pretty unique experience, from the moment you walk in to when you stroll out with something in their iconic, white bags.

Being Apple, they’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to protect their image, including patenting the bag.

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Yes, you read that right, Apple filed for a patent on the shopping bag, see above schematic. (Your polite (or not so much) snickering is loud enough for us all to hear, BTW.) On the surface, the idea of patenting a shopping bag is a little silly. But can you imagine if other retailers copied their signature bag? Apple’s shopping experience wouldn’t set them apart as much so it’s understandable that they want to protect it.

I’ll add that being too protective of what makes you, you, can make it hard to evolve. The trick is to find the right balance of preserving your identity while always growing.

So, what’s your brand? How do you promote and protect it? Do you know of other business examples that cause you to reflect on how you manage your reputation?

Have a glorious day!

Caryn

Move Along

Wow, we made it! I haven’t been so glad to see Friday since…. Ummm, well, last week. 😉

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It’s been a bear of a week, hasn’t it? Just when you start to whine about your challenges, stop and think of those around you. I find it’s easier to let go of the frustration by empathizing, which means focusing on others and their experiences. This not only helps you shift your focus from you and your misery but also opens you up to supporting others. Isn’t that what community is all about?

Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day makes me think of how hard it is to be isolated. Even though it’s a melancholy song, I find myself humming it. It’s also a great crowd-shout song for road trips….You know I can see y’all motoring to this. 😉

Need something a little more upbeat for your Friday? All American Rejects Move Along is an anthem to picking yourself up after a fall.

“When all you got to keep is strong,

Move along, move along, like I know you do

And even when your hope is gone

Move along, move along just to make it through….”

And I can’t help adding Traveling Wilbury’s End of the Line. It’s got me grooving while I clean up email this morning, imagining setting off on a great adventure.

I’ve got road trip music on my mind (can you tell?) – May y’all have great adventures this weekend!

Caryn

Can’t Stop the Feeling

Happy September, Happy Friday!

Before y’all go running off to a 3-day weekend, let’s remember a couple of things:

  1. Monday’s holiday is to celebrate Labor Day, a tribute to our nation’s workers and their social and economic achievements that have contributed to our country’s well-being.
  2. Many will ironically work at least part of this weekend, so if you have it off, join me in being thankful for the time we have to spend with family and friends. It is because of the Labor Movement that we have standards for time off (5 day work week, paid vacation, etc) as well as health benefits.

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For this Friday’s jam, I’m borrowing a song from Trolls – JT’s Can’t Stop the Feeling – I somehow get the feeling that they got the dancers in the video from random people on the street, the laundromat, the grocery store. Next time you’re out and about, try to imagine the person in line ahead of you dancing. 😉

Like Pharrell’s Happy, how do you resist the joy in Can’t Stop the Feeling? Is it a coincidence that both of these songs were associated with ‘kids’ movies (Troll for JT and Despicable Me for Pharrell)? There’s no age limit on joy. 😀

 

Enjoy your weekend, enjoy the festivities!

Caryn